Summer Safety

Summer is here, and with it come the usual summer dangers. Being aware of basic summer safety measures could mean the difference between a relaxing, rewarding summer and one spent in the emergency room.

Summer brings with it a whole slew of new potential problems, everything from drowning to West Nile virus to cancer caused by sun exposure. The good news is, most of these threats are easily preventable with a little preparation.

Water Safety

Swimming lessons should be an important part of every young child's safety. Many community centers offer swimming lessons cheap or even free. Even if your child knows how to swim, consider finding someone to teach them the finer points of swimming.

Older children may be encouraged to take classes and become certified as lifeguards. Even if they never actually work as lifeguards, the training will go a long ways towards ensuring their safety and the safety of those around them. But lifeguard certification also opens up exciting new possibilities for summer jobs.

Young children should have some sort of personal flotation device on whenever they're around water. WaterWings are a personal favorite, because they hold the child's head out of the water while still making it possible for even a young child to learn basic swimming motions.

And, of course, children should never be allowed to swim on their own. At the very least there should be a responsible older child nearby; preferably, a parent or other adult should be with them.

Insect Safety

Insects, especially mosquitos, are posing a greater threat than ever. Because illnesses like West Nile virus are mosquito-born, stock up on the insect repellent this summer. Keeping the bugs away is an important part of summer safety. It can also make your summer more fun. After all, who wants to spend all their time slapping mosquitos?

Also, check for standing water arount your home. This could be a puddle that never seems to dry out, the saucers at the bottom of potted plants, or a child's toy in the corner of the yard holding rainwater. Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Sun Safety

Sunburn isn't the only threat from too much time in the sun; skin cancer is a problem, too. Protect yourself and your kids by slathering on the sunscreen lotion before heading out. But don't avoid sun altogether; sunshine is an important source of vitamin D, which helps your body process calcium. Even if your kids are drinking their daily milk, it won't do them any good without plenty of vitamin D.

author: Keesa Renee DuPre

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